Business owners speak out against proposal to put homeless shelter in South Salt Lake

SOUTH SALT LAKE, Utah -- More than 70 South Salt Lake business owners held an emergency meeting Wednesday morning.

They are planning their strategy to fight back against the county after they announced several locations for a possible new homeless resource center within the city.

“It’s not looking very good for South Salt Lake, and people are upset and shocked and angry right now,” Mayor Cherie Wood said.

Wood joined the business owners at the Crown Burger on 3300 South, where the meeting was held. Dozens of signs were passed out with the message, “Stand Up For South Salt Lake.”

They are standing up against four potential sites where the center could be built. Those sites are located on 3091 Main Street, 1141 West 3300 South, 3380 South 10th West and 3350 South 900 West.

These business owners worry they will lose customers and their property value will go down.

“I own my building at 3208 South State Street, and they said our property values are dropping 25 percent right now because of this, so it’s absolutely huge,” said Ryan Bowen with Pure Water Solutions.

These businesses have little time to do anything about it. The sites have only been introduced in the last few weeks and the county plans to make a final decision by the end of the month.

“I truly believe there are businesses that could go out of business, depending on the strategic location of where they place this,” said Jonathan Hertel of State Farm Insurance. “Should a small business have to go out of business, that has been there for 20 years, be impacted in three weeks: or should there be more thought process put into this?"

A community meeting with state and county representatives is scheduled for Wednesday at the Utah State Capitol in room 210 at 6 p.m. Many of these same business owners are expected to attend.

“Even if you don’t come to speak, please come, hold a sign, stand up for South Salt Lake,” said Mayor Cherie Wood.